1314.) Job 39

May 15, 2014
"The Garden of Eden"  by Roelandt Savery -- all these wonderful creatures created by a wise and loving God!

“The Garden of Eden” by Roelandt Savery — all these wonderful creatures created by a wise and loving God!

Job 39   (NLT)

The Lord’s Challenge Continues

“Do you know when the wild goats give birth?
    Have you watched as deer are born in the wild?
Do you know how many months they carry their young?
    Are you aware of the time of their delivery?
They crouch down to give birth to their young
    and deliver their offspring.
Their young grow up in the open fields,
    then leave home and never return.

Job39 Wild-Donkey

“One of the most admired animals of the Old Testament world was the wild donkey. It was a compliment and a promise of an enviable freedom when the angel declared that Ishmael (Genesis 16:12) would become ‘a wild donkey of a man.’ The creature was admired for both its freedom and its ability to survive under the harshest conditions.”

–Elmer Smick

“Who gives the wild donkey its freedom?
    Who untied its ropes?
I have placed it in the wilderness;
    its home is the wasteland.
It hates the noise of the city
    and has no driver to shout at it.
The mountains are its pastureland,
    where it searches for every blade of grass.

“Will the wild ox consent to being tamed?
    Will it spend the night in your stall?
10 Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow?
    Will it plow a field for you?
11 Given its strength, can you trust it?
    Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work?
12 Can you rely on it to bring home your grain
    and deliver it to your threshing floor?

Job39 Ostrich_Eggs

Ostrich — why does a flightless bird have wings?

13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,
    but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth,
    letting them be warmed in the dust.
15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them
    or a wild animal might destroy them.
16 She is harsh toward her young,
    as if they were not her own.
    She doesn’t care if they die.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom.
    He has given her no understanding.
18 But whenever she jumps up to run,
    she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.

Job39 horse mane

Horses were historically used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control. Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares.

–Wikipedia

19 “Have you given the horse its strength
    or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust?
    Its majestic snorting is terrifying!
21 It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength
    when it charges out to battle.
22 It laughs at fear and is unafraid.
    It does not run from the sword.
23 The arrows rattle against it,
    and the spear and javelin flash.
24 It paws the ground fiercely
    and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows.
25 It snorts at the sound of the horn.
    It senses the battle in the distance.
    It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.

Job39 eagletakesflight

The Eagle
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

26 “Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar
    and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle rises
    to the heights to make its nest?
28 It lives on the cliffs,
    making its home on a distant, rocky crag.
29 From there it hunts its prey,
    keeping watch with piercing eyes.
30 Its young gulp down blood.
    Where there’s a carcass, there you’ll find it.”

“If we find it exasperating that God never gives Job any reasons for his long ordeal of suffering, then we have entirely missed the point of these final chapters. While it is true that the Lord’s answer to Job is neither logical nor theological, this is not the same as saying that He gives no answer. The Lord does give an answer. His answer is Himself.”

–Mike Mason

“One thought, and one only, is brought into the foreground. The world is full of mysteries, strange, unapproachable, overpowering mysteries that you cannot read. Trust, trust in the power, and in the wisdom, and in the goodness of Him, the Almighty One, who rules it.” (Bradley)

–quoted by David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

HERE   is “All Creation Worships” written by Kirk Dearman and Jim Mills, performed by Tony Melendez.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Savery.    http://www.artbible.net/1T/Gen0120_5Fishes_birdslife/source/17%20SAVERY%20THE%20GARDEN%20OF%20EDEN%20ANIMALS%20D2.jpg
wild donkey.    http://soulbusiness.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Wild-Donkey.jpg
ostrich and eggs.    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5nMKRlil5XA/TjCsboFz9OI/AAAAAAAAzME/B3t3teyuzUk/s1600/Fresh_Ostrich_Hatching_Eggs.jpg
horse.    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/cd/2b/01/cd2b01589c98506e23f6a8ece10bc31b.jpg
eagle.    http://advocateboattours.com/457/

 


1313.) Job 38

May 14, 2014

“The Lord answering Job out of a whirlwind,” by William Blake, 1805 (Morgan Library, New York)

Job 38   (NLT)

Chapters 38 – 42:  God Answers Job

 Devlin

Perhaps you would like to hear this chapter.  Son Devlin, currently a student at Princeton Theological Seminary,  learned this chapter by heart and presented it to a Wheaton College chapel a couple years ago.  Of course, I am biased, but it is very cool!  Click  HERE  to watch and listen!

The Lord Challenges Job

1Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom
with such ignorant words?
3 Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.

God questions Job regarding what he doesn’t know:

4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
5 Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
6 What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
7 as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

the Milky Way galaxy

Genesis 1:1 (New International Version)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

8 “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
9 and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
10 For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
11 I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!’

the Atlantic Ocean at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Genesis 1:9-10 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
13 Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?
14 As the light approaches,
the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
it is robed in brilliant colors.
15 The light disturbs the wicked
and stops the arm that is raised in violence.

sunrise over New York City

Genesis 1:14-18 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,  and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.  God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth,  to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

16 “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
Have you explored their depths?
17 Do you know where the gates of death are located?
Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
18 Do you realize the extent of the earth?
Tell me about it if you know!

19 “Where does light come from,
and where does darkness go?
20 Can you take each to its home?
Do you know how to get there?
21 But of course you know all this!
For you were born before it was all created,
and you are so very experienced!

Genesis 1:3-4 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

22 “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of hail?
23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war.)
24 Where is the path to the source of light?
Where is the home of the east wind?

25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
Who laid out the path for the lightning?
26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
in a desert where no one lives?
27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
and make the tender grass spring up?

Genesis 1:11-12 (New International Version)

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

28 “Does the rain have a father?
Who gives birth to the dew?
29 Who is the mother of the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
and the surface of the water freezes.

31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars—
binding the cluster of the Pleiades
or loosening the cords of Orion?
32 Can you direct the sequence of the seasons
or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?

the Pleiades

Genesis 1:16 (New International Version)

God also made the stars.

33 Do you know the laws of the universe?
Can you use them to regulate the earth?

34 “Can you shout to the clouds
and make it rain?
35 Can you make lightning appear
and cause it to strike as you direct?
36 Who gives intuition to the heart
and instinct to the mind?
37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
38 when the parched ground is dry
and the soil has hardened into clods?

39 “Can you stalk prey for a lioness
and satisfy the young lions’ appetites
40 as they lie in their dens
or crouch in the thicket?

Genesis 1:24-25 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

41 Who provides food for the ravens
when their young cry out to God
and wander about in hunger?

raven and chicks at Yellowstone National Park

Genesis 1:20-21 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”  So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Steve Green and “Creation Sings.”  It is a happy song!

Creation sings the Father’s song
He calls the sun to wake the dawn
And run the course of day
‘Til evening falls in crimson rays
His fingerprints in flakes of snow
His breath upon this spinning globe
He charts the eagle’s flight
Commands the new born baby’s cry

Hallelujah, let all creation stand and sing
Hallelujah, fill the earth with songs of worship
Tell the wonders of creations’ King

Creation gazed upon His face
The ageless One in times’ embrace
Unveiled the Father’s plan
Of reconciling God and man
A second Adam walked the earth
Whose blameless life would break the curse
Whose death would set us free
To live with Him eternally

Creation longs for His return
When Christ shall reign upon the earth
The bitter wars that rage
Are birth pains of a coming age
When he renews the land and sky
All heav’n will sing and earth reply
With one resplendent theme
The glory of our God and King

Fill the earth with songs of worship
Tell the wonders of creation’s King

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Blake.   http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8EWSDW/$File/WILLIAM-BLAKE-THE-LORD-ANSWERING-JOB-OUT-OF-THE-WHIRLWIND.JPG
Milky Way.  http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/milky-way-galaxy-400×360.jpg
Cocoa Beach.  http://www.myplanetflorida.com/cocoa_beach.jpg
sunrise.  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1vYYpDTtUVg/TSAK6nT_nuI/AAAAAAAAAFg/2ryDy-38klA/s1600/_41625134_nicoatridge_nysunr.jpg
candles.   http://carolinemccain.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/light-dark-for-change-ability-tip-19.jpg
prairie grass.  http://www.grahamenvironmental.com/images/prairie_grass.jpg
lioness and cubs.  http://www.crownandandrews.com/HTMLFiles/14111_big.jpg
raven.  http://www.andrewmerwinphoto.com/birds/raven&chicks.jpg

1312.) Job 37

May 13, 2014

Job37 v14

Job 37   (NLT)

The thunder of God’s voice:

“My heart pounds as I think of this.
    It trembles within me.
Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice
    as it rolls from his mouth.
It rolls across the heavens,
    and his lightning flashes in every direction.

This passage (verses 1-13) reveals a sophisticated observation of atmospheric conditions and their effects:  the evaporation and distillation of water for rain, the clouds as holders of moisture, and the cyclonic behavior of clouds.  (The Archaeological Study Bible)

Then comes the roaring of the thunder—
    the tremendous voice of his majesty.
    He does not restrain it when he speaks.
God’s voice is glorious in the thunder.
    We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power.

What the voice of God can do:

“He directs the snow to fall on the earth
    and tells the rain to pour down.
Then everyone stops working
    so they can watch his power.
The wild animals take cover
    and stay inside their dens.
The stormy wind comes from its chamber,
    and the driving winds bring the cold.
10 God’s breath sends the ice,
    freezing wide expanses of water.

Lake Superior's Apostle Islands sea caves, completely frozen.

Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands sea caves, completely frozen.

Psalm 147:17   (NIV)   

Who can withstand his icy blast?

11 He loads the clouds with moisture,
    and they flash with his lightning.
12 The clouds churn about at his direction.
    They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.

Job37 snow clouds

Psalm 148:7-8   (NIV)

Praise the Lord from the earth . . .
   lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding.

13 He makes these things happen either to punish people
    or to show his unfailing love.

14 “Pay attention to this, Job.
    Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
15 Do you know how God controls the storm
    and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
16 Do you understand how he moves the clouds
    with wonderful perfection and skill?
17 When you are sweltering in your clothes
    and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
18 he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror.
    Can you do that?

Elihu’s final advice to Job:

19 “So teach the rest of us what to say to God.
    We are too ignorant to make our own arguments.
20 Should God be notified that I want to speak?
    Can people even speak when they are confused?
21 We cannot look at the sun,
    for it shines brightly in the sky
    when the wind clears away the clouds.
22 So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.
    He is clothed in dazzling splendor.
23 We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty;
    but even though he is just and righteous,
    he does not destroy us.
24 No wonder people everywhere fear him.
    All who are wise show him reverence.”

_________________________

Music:

I have been struck by the beautiful descriptions of nature throughout the book, and who can forget Job’s confident proclamation of hope amid his trials and his not-so-helpful “comforters” — “I know that my Redeemer lives!”  Nicole C. Mullen puts it all together  HERE  in “My Redeemer Lives.”

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Stop and consider.    http://ih0.redbubble.net/image.4709740.8507/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg
sea caves.   http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//filer/a4/3c/a43c499e-61d9-44f9-8f93-4f5f61729ff9/apostles-island-wide-main.jpg__800x600_q85_crop.jpg
cloud, flakes of snow.    http://www.clipartpal.com/_thumbs/pd/weather/snow_from_glossy_cloud.png

1311.) Job 36

May 12, 2014

Job36 job and his friends

Job 36   (NLT)

Elihu continued speaking:

Elihu teaches Job about the justice and righteousness of God:

“Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.
    For I have not finished defending God!
I will present profound arguments
    for the righteousness of my Creator.
I am telling you nothing but the truth,
    for I am a man of great knowledge.

Job36 genius

Elihu gives himself a certificate of genius!  Then he says a lot of the same old things.

God rewards the obedient and the disobedient perish:

“God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!
    He is mighty in both power and understanding.

“If God were little, he might despise the little; if he were weak he would disdain the weak; if he were untrue he would be supercilious to those about him; but, seeing he is none of these, but is God over all blessed for ever, the only wise God, we have to deal with one who, though he be high, hath respect unto the lowly; who, though he humbleth himself even to observe the things which are done in heaven, yet despiseth not the cry of the humble. The magnanimity of God is the reason why he despiseth not any.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

He does not let the wicked live
    but gives justice to the afflicted.
He never takes his eyes off the innocent,
    but he sets them on thrones with kings
    and exalts them forever.
If they are bound in chains
    and caught up in a web of trouble,
he shows them the reason.
    He shows them their sins of pride.
10 He gets their attention
    and commands that they turn from evil.

11 “If they listen and obey God,
    they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.
    All their years will be pleasant.

The sad fate of the hypocrite:

Elihu thought Job was a hypocrite for continuing to deny his guilt. He felt Job was putting himself under a greater and greater outpouring of God’s wrath.

–David Guzik

12 But if they refuse to listen to him,
    they will be killed by the sword
    and die from lack of understanding.
13 For the godless are full of resentment.
    Even when he punishes them,
    they refuse to cry out to him for help.
14 They die when they are young,
    after wasting their lives in immoral living.
15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
    For he gets their attention through adversity.

Job36 v.15

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

–C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Elihu teaches Job about the greatness of God:

16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,
    to a place free from distress.
    He is setting your table with the best food.
17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.
    Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.
18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.
    Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.
19 Could all your wealth
    or all your mighty efforts
    keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the cover of night,
    for that is when people will be destroyed.
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,
    for God sent this suffering
    to keep you from a life of evil.

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power

22 “Look, God is all-powerful.
    Who is a teacher like him?
23 No one can tell him what to do,
    or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,
    singing songs of praise.
25 Everyone has seen these things,
    though only from a distance.

The unsearchable greatness of God is expressed in the storm:

Job36 watercycle

26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.
    His years cannot be counted.
27 He draws up the water vapor
    and then distills it into rain.
28 The rain pours down from the clouds,
    and everyone benefits.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds
    and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
30 See how he spreads the lightning around him
    and how it lights up the depths of the sea.
31 By these mighty acts he nourishes the people,
    giving them food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts
    and hurls each at its target.
33 The thunder announces his presence;
    the storm announces his indignant anger.

Job36 lightning-noaa

Your science lesson for the day!

Lightning is a powerful burst of electricity that happens very quickly during a thunderstorm.  The movement of rain and ice inside a thundercloud creates an electrical charge, with the negative charge (electrons) forming at the bottom of the cloud and the positive charge (protons) forming at the top. Thus there is an unbalanced electrical charge in the atmosphere.  Opposites attract so the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud seeks out a positive charge to connect with.

Thunder is the sound caused by lightning.  The intense heat from lightning causes the surrounding air to rapidly expand and create a sonic wave that you hear as thunder.  The average temperature of lightning is around 36000 °F.  Light travels faster than sound so we see lightning before we hear thunder.

_________________________

Music:

So the last couple verse refer to thunder and lightning — and from far in the deep recesses of my brain this song came to mind, back from my college days in the 70’s!  HERE  is “Thunder and Lighting”  by the American rock-pop-jazz songwriter, pianist, and singer, Chi Coltrane.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Job and his friends.     http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2xzh9qii-xs/Uyh-fYm0sdI/AAAAAAAAItA/m8uEF_wVkFg/s1600/job+and+his+friends.png
light bulb.       http://www.motherjones.com/files/images/blog_light_bulb.jpg
verse 15.    http://deanneleblanc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Job-36.15.png
water cycle.     http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/mitchemh/images/watercycle.jpg
lightning.    http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/lightning-noaa.jpg

1310.) Job 35

May 9, 2014
"Glory to God in the highest!" -- the most famous song of the night!

“Glory to God in the highest!” — the most famous song of the night!

Job 35   (NLT)

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Justice

Then Elihu said:

“Are you more righteous than God?” Elihu asks Job:

“Do you think it is right for you to claim,
    ‘I am righteous before God’?
For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me?
    What’s the use of living a righteous life?’

“God is farther above you than you can imagine” Elihu tells Job:

“I will answer you
    and all your friends, too.
Look up into the sky,
    and see the clouds high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect God?
    Even if you sin again and again,
    what effect will it have on him?
If you are good, is this some great gift to him?
    What could you possibly give him?

Job35 clouds

“If it is true that because God is so great and so high, the innocence or guilt of a petty human being is a matter of profound indifference to his Maker, on the ground that it can bring Him neither gain nor loss, we are landed, we see at once, on a very gloomy shore. We reach a conclusion fatal to all religion.” (Bradley)

–quoted by David Guzik

No, your sins affect only people like yourself,
    and your good deeds also affect only humans.

“Your pride blocks God’s answer” Elihu tells Job:

“People cry out when they are oppressed.
    They groan beneath the power of the mighty.
10 Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator,
    the one who gives songs in the night?

Job35 Ps42

11 Where is the one who makes us smarter than the animals
    and wiser than the birds of the sky?’
12 And when they cry out, God does not answer
    because of their pride.

“God does not want to hear your empty talk” Elihu tells Job.

13 But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen,
    to say the Almighty isn’t concerned.
14 You say you can’t see him,
    but he will bring justice if you will only wait.
15 You say he does not respond to sinners with anger
    and is not greatly concerned about wickedness.
16 But you are talking nonsense, Job.
    You have spoken like a fool.”

Elihu’s general idea was —  “Job, if you were really a godly man, then God would have answered you by now. The fact that He hasn’t shows your ungodliness.”

–David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

Reading verse 10 about “songs in the night” reminded me of a radio program from many years ago — NightSounds with broadcaster and trombonist Bill Pearce as host.  HERE  is the theme song of the program, “Beau Soir” by Debussy.  How many nights did I drift off to sleep with this show playing on the radio?  Enjoy the soothing and peaceful music.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
angels singing to the shepherds.    http://www.seacoastworship.com/Websites/seacoastworship/images/shepherds-and-angels.jpg
clouds.    http://www.carlwozniak.com/clouds/Graphics/New%20Pix/clouds39.jpg
Psalm 42:8.    http://ppcdn.500px.org/14490949/10bb43f4259316b947c5ea093c2b70043cf3af62/5.jpg

1309.) Job 34

May 8, 2014

Job34 v29

Job 34   (NLT)

Elihu Denounces Job

Then Elihu said:

He again inaccurately summarizes Job’s argument:

“Listen to me, you wise men.
    Pay attention, you who have knowledge.
Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears
    just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’
So let us discern for ourselves what is right;
    let us learn together what is good.
For Job also said, ‘I am innocent,
    but God has taken away my rights.
I am innocent, but they call me a liar.
    My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’

Job never claimed to be sinless. He only claimed that there was not some special sin that made him the target of this special catastrophe.

“Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job,
    with his thirst for irreverent talk?
He chooses evil people as companions.
    He spends his time with wicked men.
He has even said, ‘Why waste time
    trying to please God?’

Elihu describes the righteousness of God and His moral order:

10 “Listen to me, you who have understanding.
    Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin!
    The Almighty can do no wrong.
11 He repays people according to their deeds.
    He treats people as they deserve.
12 Truly, God will not do wrong.
    The Almighty will not twist justice.

Elihu was correct, and this was an idea agreed upon by Job and his three friends. Yet the problem was that Elihu and Job’s three friends also seemed to assume that God would never do mysteriously, and were too confident in their ability to understand God and His ways.

–David Guzik

13 Did someone else put the world in his care?
    Who set the whole world in place?
14 If God were to take back his spirit
    and withdraw his breath,
15 all life would cease,
    and humanity would turn again to dust.

God preserves His moral order:

16 “Now listen to me if you are wise.
    Pay attention to what I say.
17 Could God govern if he hated justice?
    Are you going to condemn the almighty judge?

Elihu has confused two kinds of cries.  Job is not condemning God.  Rather, he is calling out in agony to God, asking to see the love and justice that Job knows are an integral part of God.

18 For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’
    and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’
19 He doesn’t care how great a person may be,
    and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor.
    He made them all.
20 In a moment they die.
    In the middle of the night they pass away;
    the mighty are removed without human hand.

The perfection of God’s judgments:

21 “For God watches how people live;
    he sees everything they do.
22 No darkness is thick enough
    to hide the wicked from his eyes.
23 We don’t set the time
    when we will come before God in judgment.
24 He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone,
    and he sets up others in their place.
25 He knows what they do,
    and in the night he overturns and destroys them.
26 He strikes them down because they are wicked,
    doing it openly for all to see.
27 For they turned away from following him.
    They have no respect for any of his ways.
28 They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention.
    He hears the cries of the needy.

Job34 Scotland

Adam Clarke had an interesting story to tell on the observation of Elihu that God would avenge the cry of the poor to come to Him when the rich and influence oppressed them:

“In times of little liberality, when some men thought they did God service by persecuting those who did not exactly receive their creed, nor worship God in their way, a certain great man in Scotland grievously persecuted his tenants, because they had religious meetings in private houses out of the order of the establishment; though he never molested them when they spent their time and their money in the alehouse.

A holy, simple woman, one of those people, went one morning to the house of the great persecutor, and desired to speak with him. The servant desired to know her message, and he would deliver it, for she could not be admitted. She told him she could deliver her message to none but his master; said it was a matter of great importance, and concerned himself intimately, and alone. The servant having delivered this message, and stated that the woman appeared to have something particular on her mind, his worship condescended to see her.

‘What is your business with me?’ said he, in a haughty, overbearing tone.

To which she answered, ‘Sir, we are a hantle o’ puir folk at—, who are strivin’ to sairve God accordin’ to our ain conscience, and to get our sauls sav’d: yee persecute us; and I am come to beg yee to let us alane; and in ye dinna, we’ll pray yee dead.’

This rhetoric was irresistible, His lordship did not know what influence such people might have in heaven; he did not like to put such prayers to the proof; wisely took the old woman’s advice, and e’en let them alane. He was safe; they were satisfied; and God had the glory. When the poor refer their cause to God, he is a terrible avenger. Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth, but woe to the man that contendeth with his Maker.”

–David Guzik

29 But if he chooses to remain quiet,
    who can criticize him?
When he hides his face, no one can find him,
    whether an individual or a nation.
30 He prevents the godless from ruling
    so they cannot be a snare to the people.

Elihu advises Job on what he should have said:

31 “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned,
    but I will sin no more’?
32 Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me.
    If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’?

33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands?
    But you have rejected him!
The choice is yours, not mine.
    Go ahead, share your wisdom with us.
34 After all, bright people will tell me,
    and wise people will hear me say,
35 ‘Job speaks out of ignorance;
    his words lack insight.’
36 Job, you deserve the maximum penalty
    for the wicked way you have talked.
37 For you have added rebellion to your sin;
    you show no respect,
    and you speak many angry words against God.”

Ouch!  That is a blunt accusation!  Where is any kindness and compassion for a man who has suffered greatly?

_________________________

Music :

What we fail to realize is how desperately we want and need a judge, because without judgment — without someone establishing an authoritative standard, then evil and injustice never get answered. And all the things in this life that have been unjust — all the greed, all the human suffering and poverty, all the evil that has been visited upon us in a variety of ways — it runs on forever, unchecked, as if it does not matter — no one ever stops it — no one ever steps in and demands restitution. God’s standard of holiness expressed in His Word does two things: it stops evil in its tracks and demands consequences — and then it provides for us the very thing it demands.

–David Swanson

Elihu is right.  I have often rejected God, I regret to say, and have acted in ways contrary to his love.  But in Jesus, my sins are washed away and I am forgiven.  God is the perfect combination of justice and mercy, for me and for the whole world.  HERE  is “Wonderful, Merciful Savior” sung by Selah.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
verse 29.    http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/Treasures%20of%20the%20Bible%20%28Illustrated%20Passages%29/images/scan0003-1.jpg
scene in Scotland.    http://media64.transat.com/images.aspx?imageid=50719&imagetype=image

1308.) Job 33

May 7, 2014

Job33 v28

Job 33 (NLT)

Elihu Presents His Case against Job

“I am your spokesman before God,” Elihu says to Job:

1 “Listen to my words, Job;
pay attention to what I have to say.
2 Now that I have begun to speak,
let me continue.
3 I speak with all sincerity;
I speak the truth.
4 For the Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
5 Answer me, if you can;
make your case and take your stand.
6 Look, you and I both belong to God.
I, too, was formed from clay.
7 So you don’t need to be afraid of me.
I won’t come down hard on you.

So it is clear from just these few lines that Elihu is wordy, he repeats himself, he is conceited.  One commentator has said, “Now he joins in with a combination of deference and cocksureness that captures the pose of youth that sees a little, but sees it clearly.”

“You think you are without sin,” Elihu says to Job:

8 “You have spoken in my hearing,
and I have heard your very words.
9 You said, ‘I am pure; I am without sin;
I am innocent; I have no guilt.
10 God is picking a quarrel with me,
and he considers me his enemy.
11 He puts my feet in the stocks
and watches my every move.’

This means that young Elihu had not heard Job carefully.  Job certainly knew that he was a sinner in a general sense and could not be considered righteous compared to God.

  • Therefore my words have been rash (Job 6:3)
  • Why then do You not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? (Job 7:21)
  • How can a man be righteous before God? (Job 9:2)
  • I know that You will not hold me innocent (Job 9:28)
  • For You write bitter things against me, and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth (Job 13:26)
  • Though I were righteous, my own mouth would condemn me; though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse (Job 19:2)

–David Guzik

“God speaks to you, perhaps in a dream?” Elihu says to Job:

12 “But you are wrong, and I will show you why.
For God is greater than any human being.
13 So why are you bringing a charge against him?
Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints?
14 For God speaks again and again,
though people do not recognize it.
15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they lie in their beds.
16 He whispers in their ears
and terrifies them with warnings.
17 He makes them turn from doing wrong;
he keeps them from pride.
18 He protects them from the grave,
from crossing over the river of death.

“God spoke to you in your sufferings, to save your soul from death,” Elihu says to Job:

19 “Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds,
with ceaseless aching in their bones.
20 They lose their appetite
for even the most delicious food.
21 Their flesh wastes away,
and their bones stick out.
22 They are at death’s door;
the angels of death wait for them.

23 “But if an angel from heaven appears—
a special messenger to intercede for a person
and declare that he is upright—
24 he will be gracious and say,
‘Rescue him from the grave,
for I have found a ransom for his life.’

Mark 10:45 (ESV)

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s,
firm and youthful again.
26 When he prays to God,
he will be accepted.
And God will receive him with joy
and restore him to good standing.
27 He will declare to his friends,
‘I sinned and twisted the truth,
but it was not worth it.
28 God rescued me from the grave,
and now my life is filled with light.’

So, according to Elihu, suffering is the Lord’s way of correcting and healing those whom he is saving.  Suffering is helpful when we turn to God for patience and understanding, or when we learn a deeper dependence on God, or when we become more gentle towards others in their difficulties, thereby showing God’s light to the world.

Elihu pleads with Job to listen to him:

29 “Yes, God does these things
again and again for people.

At last!  Someone is talking about God’s grace!

30 He rescues them from the grave
so they may enjoy the light of life.

Psalm 56:13 (ESV)

For you have delivered my soul from death,
   yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.

31 Mark this well, Job. Listen to me,
for I have more to say.
32 But if you have anything to say, go ahead.
Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified.
33 But if not, then listen to me.
Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!”

_________________________

Music:

Note verse 30:  He rescues them from the grave so they may enjoy the light of life.  Thank you, Lord Jesus!  HERE  is “Your Precious Blood Has Ransomed Me” with Allen Froese.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
verse 28.   http://amberlouthan.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/052.jpg
big deal.  http://www.lmnotees.com/store/images/products/guys_90_M4.jpg
I am a sinner.   http://rlv.zcache.com/sinner_saint_tee_tshirt-p235686692349703037zvxce_400.jpg
cross on black.  http://www.saintpatschurch.org/images/web/cross-dark-background.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 503 other followers